Future Oncology

From June 1995 to August 2008, New Medicine published Future Oncology, a comprehensive analytical newsletter tracking the evolution of global drug development in oncology.  Despite of the incredible amount of effort in this area in the last 20 years, we currently face the same problems that were being tackled then, namely a lack of understanding as to the origins and mechanisms of malignancy.  Despite the incredible global effort in this area and the remarkable scientific breakthroughs in biology and medicine, advanced cancer has remained an incurable disease.  However, although cancer remains undefeated, treatment of this disease has created a huge global market comprised of drugs that, with few exceptions, provide marginal relief at a very high cost.  Because the origins of this disease have remained obscure, there have been numerous approaches popularized at different times as to its treatment.  Future Oncology has tracked these developments over time, from the rise of immunotherapy in the late 1990s to the subsequent discovery of oncogenes and tumor suppressors that shifted the emphasis from the labor intensive immunotherapy and gene transfer approaches to the relative simplicity of the production and delivery of monoclonal antibodies (MAb), oligonucleotides and small molecule drugs.  Although some major advances have led to significant survival gains of patients with hematologic malignancies, they have not produced the same results in the treatment of metastatic solid tumors.

In the meantime, the competitive landscape underwent a major transformation. The archives follow the progress or demise of hundreds of commercial entities globally and hundreds of drugs, among some of the most successful to date as well some noted failures.  The passage of time has produced many surprising winners and a few unexpected losers.  Celgene, an unknown small company in 1995, has become a leading biotech juggernaut.  Rituximab, a relatively low tech transformational therapy for the treatment of hematologic malignancies, developed by the small company Idec and approved in the USA in November 1997, may be considered the most successful anticancer agent to date both for significantly extending survival and for generating billions in sales for its developers and marketers.  Since its first approval in 1995, Rituxan’s total global revenues exceeded $65 billion, including sales in the immunology sector beginning in FY 2013.  Imatinib, launched in 2001, ushered the era of personalized medicine.  Avastin, the first targeted treatment for solid tumors launched by Genentech in 2004, garnered over $60 billion in global revenues to date.

Future Oncology
An Analytical Newsletter in the Global Oncology FieldFree_Icon

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